PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --Local Ukrainian-Americans held an impassioned rally along the Ben Franklin Parkway to condemn those responsible for the Malaysia Flight 17 tragedy and to mourn the victims.
They gathered under the Ukrainian flag at 19th and the Parkway behind a large banner which read: Stop Putin's terror!
"Putin is behind this insane scenario with the downing of the Malaysian airplane and our hearts go out to all the innocent victims," said one rallier.
Local Ukrainian-Americans say they have been living with the nightmare back in their homeland ever since Russia invaded Crimea.
While there is no evidence directly linking Vladimir Putin and the Russian government to the tragedy, many are calling on the United States and the world to take action.
"We do hope our congressmen, our senators and President Obama will finally take some firm steps to punish Russia," said Iryna Mazur.
"They should send a military mission to Ukraine to assess what kind of help they would need and what kind of training to use American weapons," said Roman Andryzcyk.
Some lit candles and lay flowers for the victims of MH Flight 17.
Meanwhile at the Ukrainian Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Stefan Soroka offered prayers not just for the victims but for a sense of decency among those responsible for such evil.
"It saddens us very much, saddens us very much. We pray for the victims and for their conversion and some sort of sensibility and appreciation of life," said Archbishop Soroka.
In the wake of the disaster, the fast-moving developments are being closely monitored by local Ukrainians in the area.
They believe the world has now been drawn into their conflict and are hoping the world takes action.